A new doorbell

One of the things I never liked, was our doorbell. You’ve probably seen or used them, those mostly black plastic boxes with some pieces of copper strips inside; the mechanism relies on those 2 copper spring-like strips to make contact when the button is pressed and return to their old position when the button is released. However, more than once it has happened that if someone pushes the button too hard, the button doesn’t work that well anymore because the strips are bent. Time to do something about this annoying issue and solve this once and for all.

So here’s the most important requirement: the new doorbell should always work. Besides that, I wanted the doorbell to have a distinctive ‘click’ as physical feedback and if possible, also a visible feedback for the person standing in front of our door pushing that doorbell button. Last but not least, the visitor should be able to find the doorbell while standing in front of the door while it’s dark outside. A white LEDs should be able to do just that.

I bought a wireless doorbell once, thinking I could remove the wireless part and just use it as a simple switch . But I was wrong; the button and wireless part were too much integrated for me to do something useful with the PCB that was inside. This wireless doorbell cost me about 30 euro, the looks were OK and I didn’t want it to end up on the shelf with all the rest of the things I’ve bought but never used. Sounds like a good opportunity for some DIY 😉

I removed the PCB from the doorbell, glued a piece of experimenting board into the doorbell and soldered a PCB switch on top of the board:

New Doorbell

Fits perfectly. With this switch you get instant feedback on whether the switch sensed your push because of the audible and tactile click, you can both hear and feel it very well. As visible feedback for pressing the button I decided to use a blue 3mm LED. This LED should cooperate with the white one, which should take care of night visibility: resulting in a blue indicator above the button when it’s pushed, and a white indicator while it’s dark outside.

While working on the new interior of the doorbell, I decided to use a JeeNode with EtherCard to control it all, thereby creating my own Ethernet-enabled doorbell. Why? Because I can! 🙂

To be continued.


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2 Responses to A new doorbell

  1. Pingback: Finishing the Doorbell

  2. Roelof says:

    Why not still include a red-led that can blink if you feel like it, just like those fake-alert led’s that blink at night in a car to scare away (or attract) thieves…

    Not really usefull, but, ehe, because you can! 🙂 The jeenode probably has enough outputs anyway, and the rest is just software… Not that this led should give away usefull info, but it could also function as a don’t disturb or so 🙂 Or just to play.

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